We started out in Sundance, UT, in a cushy house that I rented through VRBO.com (Vacation Rentals by Owner). This is the 3rd time I have used this network and all 3 have been homeruns. We spent 3 days exploring the area between Provo and Park City, grilling and cooking on the deck, and just enjoying the magnificent home on the edge of creek. One of my all-time favorite movies (Jeremiah Johnson) was filmed here and this mountain scene appears mutiple times in it.
The House we rented
We headed east to the town of Vernal, UT where we would stay the night prior to and after our rafting trip. We were to meet at the Split Mountain boat ramp in Dinosaur National Monument the next morning. We parked our cars there at what would be the take-out point and rode a bus for 2 1/2 hours east, to the launching point at Deerlodge Park boat ramp.
Split Mountain Boat Ramp
Deerlodge Park Boat Ramp
Day 1 on the river was pretty mild. This is not a big whitewater river and even with recent record flows, the rapids are pretty mild compared to last year's Middle Fork Salmon trip. Howeve, the scenery and pristine nature of the area more than makes up for it. The flow rate was down to about 14,000 CFS from it's peak a couple week earlier of 26K CFS. The recently flooded flats and campgrounds meant the presence of mosquitoes, which is usually not the case here. We only had one camp where they were more than a nuisance. However, everyone had to sleep zipped up inside their tents, and this made the hammocks even more appealing.
River Day 2 took us deeper into the canyon. We camped below a huge sandstone cliff and made a 5 mile r/t hike to access the top. It offered some breathtaking views.
I rowed most of 3 days on this trip
River Day 3 We hike to see some petroglyphs. The hike offered some nice views. Camp 3 was the buggiest of all. It was tight and everyone was ready to hit the river the next morning.
View From Hammock - Camp 3
River Day 4 brought us to the confluence of the Green River. This has to be Top 5 of places I have been and is appropriately named Echo Park. We also crossed back into Utah on this day. Camp 4 was open, airy, and bug-free, a much welcomed change from the previous camp.
Steamboat Rock at the confluence of the Green River
Faulting caused the layers being pushed up when the land on the left thrust upward
River Day 5 was the best whitewater day of the trip. It was a long series of Cl II's and III's and offered a nice finish to a great trip. We arrived at the Split Mountain Boat Ramp where we had parked our cars. Everyone said their goodbyes and we headed for a warm shower in Vernal.
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